Industry groups urge support of competitive sourcing

OMB Statement of Administration Policy

A group of more than 20 industry organizations under the Outsourcing Coalition today sent a letter to members of the House urging them to vote against amendments to the fiscal 2004 Transportation-Treasury appropriations bill that would block the Bush administration's competitive sourcing plans.

The competition initiative, one of five under the President's Management Agenda, has generated plenty of controversy and discussion. Administration officials want many functions considered commercial in nature to be open for competition between the government groups currently performing them and commercial companies. The administration has said it wants to ensure that government tasks are performed as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Amendments offered on the Transportation-Treasury spending bill by Representatives Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) are the latest in a number of attempts to block agencies' ability to implement the initiative.

Coalition members — including the American Electronic Association, the Contract Services Association of America and the Information Technology Association of America — oppose the amendments on the basis that the changes "would severely impair the ability of federal agencies to effectively manage their missions," according to the letter.

The coalition's message follows a threat from the White House that President Bush will veto the entire $90 billion appropriations bill if the Hastings and Van Hollen amendments are included. Last week, the Office of Management and Budget issued a Statement of Administration Policy that outlined the Bush administration's opposition and included the veto warning.

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